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Writer & Historian

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Cultures

Breathing tango in BA

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February 7, 2011
Breathing tango in BA

In Buenos Aires the people live for and by the tango. We went in search of it in this sprawling metropolis of more than 15 million ‘portenos’ on the south shore of the broad Rio de la Plata that forms the border with Uruguay. What we found was the iconic heart of the city.
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Killing for Coal

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February 6, 2011
Killing for Coal

Few Canadians will have heard of the infamous Ludlow Massacre, a “slaughter of the innocents” at a workers’ tent city in the coalfields of Colorado in the spring of 1914. Fewer still will know that in the footnotes to that show of corporate bullying against miners and their families a familiar name pops up,...
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There is Power in a Union

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February 5, 2011
There is Power in a Union

Celebrated American anarchist Emma Goldman once tried to enter the world’s oldest profession to help pay for an assassination attempt by her sidekick Alexander Berkman, a gesture that was meant to help the workers’ cause. Both attempts failed. Goldman was sent home by her first client, who said she was too inexperienced, Berkman went...
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Made in Dagenham

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January 22, 2011
Made in Dagenham

Sally Hawkins will be hailed as the British Norma Rae for her stunning portrayal of an unlikely strike leader in Made in Dagenham, the true story of a 1968 strike for equal pay for women. And she deserves every bit of the applause as does the film, although some might argue that it is...
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Barney’s Version

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January 19, 2011
Barney’s Version

The late Montreal writer Mordecai Richler gave us many characters that reveal both the comedy and the tragedy of human relationships, but Barney Padovsky is perhaps the novelist’s crowning achievement in that regard with this masterful creation of a schmuck of schmucks.
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Stolen livelihoods

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January 11, 2011
Stolen livelihoods

The shameful story of how Japanese fishing families were treated on the North American West Coast is well-known among historians, but Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet brings that story to life through oral history accounts from the very people who experienced that systematic racism.
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Dickens would have loved Slumdog

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January 10, 2011
Dickens would have loved Slumdog

When television wasn’t much older than I was, I remember watching a show every week called The Millionaire. A middle-aged man in a suit would knock on a stranger’s door and give them a cheque for $1 million. Then the audience would watch as the money changed the life of the recipient for better...
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Loving bombs, hating war

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January 10, 2011
Loving bombs, hating war

I tucked into my own private bomb suit when I arrived at The Hurt Locker, a hide-your-eyes peek at three young bomb demolition experts who are caught between Iraqi insurgents, palpable fear, and the American government’s willful attempt to force its democracy on the unwilling.
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Feasting with Love

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January 9, 2011
Feasting with Love

Why another cookbook? Why not another cookbook especially one that is infused with so much tenderness, thoughtfulness and a deeply maturing love. We are writing a cookbook for lovers, young and old, but particularly for those of a certain age, a mature age. These recipes will appeal to lovers of good food, good stories...
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Real Indians didn’t work, did they? – A history essay

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December 15, 2010

The noble savage is dead. Long live the noble savage. That seems to have been the view of many politicians, land promoters, frontier boosters and historians as the nineteenth century drew to a close and western settler society clinched its hold on former aboriginal lands forever. At least that is the view that was...
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Books